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Showing posts from February, 2014

Balto by Natalie Standiford : A True Story

'Balto' is a true story about a brave dog in fact - The bravest Dog in Alaska !
Balto and his master Gunnar lived in Nome, Alaska- a frontier town which is buried under snow for most of the year. Balto was the cleverest and the strongest sled dog .



When there was a possible outbreak of Diptheria in that quaint town, the medicines were far away in Anchorage, Alaska and the train was stuck in deep snow 700 miles away from Nome....

At that time a plan to take help from the dog teams was the only option.
Team Balto had to pass the medicine chest from Point Bluff to Point Safety, a 31 mile distance but due to blizzard and impossible weather conditions they had to travel further from Point Saftey to Point Nome too- a very long and tiring stretch!
So Balto and Gunnar together accomplished the amazing journey of 53 miles in a record time through blizzard, snowdrifts and cracking ice over frozen rivers to save the ailing children and prevented the outbreak of Diptheria in Nome.
The hero of t…

The Graduation Day : Grace Maccarone

'The Graduation Day' is a nice little book which tells about young Matt who had just learned how to read and write.He is going to receive his Graduation Certificate for the above said achievement but his graduation cap keeps on falling ! 

Matt is walking very slowly and is keeping his head very still so not to make it fall but what's this ??
 Look at Jane , Matt's friend.
She's cartwheeling and still the cap is on !



Will he be able to make it to the stage without a fall-off ?
Will he make his Mother and lil sister Pat proud at school ? 
To know this all read The Graduation day. A sweet little book for young readers. With bold big letters and beautiful images .Happy Reading .

Holi Hai !

Just like the festival of Holi - innocent yet naughty, colourful yet meaningful, this image of Anindy is deeply etched in my mind forever. The slight tilt of the head, the naughty twinkle of eyes and this gesture which he used to do for the camera.... He thought that while clicking pictures the finger should be on the chin and as a 2 and half year old boy, he misplaced it near the lips!
                                                    Happy Day # 47

The Taj Conspiracy : Review

Book   :   The Taj Conspiracy
Author : Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Genre  :   Historical Thriller
Book Cover  :(
Published by : Westland
My Ratings : 4/5
SYNOPSIS
Mehrunisa Khosa is a Mughal Scholar with an Indo- Persian lineage who while studying the Persian calligraphy in Taj Mahal ,stumbles upon a conspiracy to destroy the national monument and replant it as a Hindu Shiva temple. She found the calligraphy on the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal altered ......and  got herself involved in murder and mayhem with the only way to come out unscathed is to uncover the conspiracy and save the Taj-one of the wonders on the earth, a symbol of national pride....and the last link to her own Indo-Persian heritage.
REVIEW
The book is engaging historically, culturally and emotionally.
It deals neutrally with urban legends of Taj and provides a sensitive peek in to the mausoleum. It definitely brought me closer to the monument ...making me see the human side of the building irrespective of ShahJahan marrying Mumtaz…

Captured !

Sometimes the earth goes round the moon Sometimes the snow comes down in June ... Though the Three Musketeers never pose together, Still I captured them on two afternoons!!!
                                                                   Happy Day #46

Sepia Shades

I always wanted to see myself from the eyes of the future generations...Just like we see the princesses and ladies of yore in old paintings and sketches, adorned with finery and the old word charm.I wished to see how I will look in a yellowed  photograph in a sepia tinted,torn book accompanied by a wilted dry rose and  family heirlooms strung in pearls... 
                                                                       Happy Day # 45

Petals in her hands

This sketch I drew as a teenager when the movie '1942-A Love Story' was released .I was much enamoured by the pristine beauty and the natural grace of the heroine-Manisha Koiralaand just as Jaaved Akhtar saa'b payed an ode to her ethereal  beauty in 'ek ladki ko dekha....' I too made this sketch of hers  with petals (instead of water) in her hands....lips parted and hair falling on her shoulders like monsoon clouds... It was bliss to watch her, to draw her (with many shortcomings) and now to see it again and again.
Happy Day # 44

Kashmir ki Kali

Here is my precious little girl turned into a Kashmiri beauty minus the phiren but with sparkling dejihors dangling from her tiny ears.The sparkle of her eyes diminishes that of the jewellery and this smile of her is far wide and bright then the necklace of semi-precious stones! Mummy's yellow dupatta with Nani's hand knitted woolen offered great contrast to my chubby baby. Now this is what I call an impromptu fancy dress party.
                                                                          Happy Day # 43

The Emerald Fruit

Yum... The on start of the mango season! No body who had spend his childhood gorging on Indian Mangoes can EVER forget the taste,aroma or the Beautiful colour of these heavenly fruits. The various shades of greens mixed artistically with the shades of scarlet,crimson,deep red and all possible hues of brightest to palest yellow... Amazing ! To look at a mango tree loaded with fruits is akin to sighting hanging emeralds! Here this tree at my cousin's place is full of unripe mangoes good for chutneys,pickles and the golden-emerald Aam ka Panna.
                                                                          Happy Day # 42

Recipe for Aam Ka Panna-
serves 4
Preparation Time - 25 minutes
2  raw mangoes - medium size
Cumin seeds - roasted
Black/rock salt - according to taste
Aesfoetida - a pinch
MInt leaves - 8-10 leaves
Black Pepper - 4 (powdered)
Sugar - 3 table spoons (acc. to taste)

Wash and peel the raw mangoes.Separate the fleshy part from the drupe with a knife.Boil the raw pulp wit…

Vrinda-van in my Balcony

The manjari of good luck, the flowers of blessings, the leaves of domestic peace and the aroma of health and  prosperity.... the Tulsi or Vrinda plant is integral to almost all Indians. And in my balcony potted garden it has bloomed in scores and millions with its tiny purple flowers flowing all over the place, making it a VrindaVan! Its said that an earthen diya lighted in mornings and evenings with devotion and piety blesses the home with all that is shubh. After all Tulsi is the pure and chaste better half of Lord Vishnu.

                                                                     Happy Day # 41

The Early Bloomers

Today when I entered the balcony with the morning cuppa tea, these delicate twin blooms were demurely hanging their necks and welcomed me bashfully. Nestled among the other bossy grassy stuff, these two are coy and timid, stirring their tiny petals at the slightest hint of wind and wished me 'Good Morning' in the most humble manner.Like the early arrivals these were little uncomfortable amidst the sharp green blades but were definitely enjoying the view from the fourth floor. Hopes they soon find the majority with the late bloomers of their family and a riot of colours will be  splashed in my sunny balcony. Happy Day #40

The Glass Fountain

The broken window, a solitary plant and the crystallised image of the other side..... The aqua colour and the fountain like quality of the pieces took my breath away. Like the fountain of life, fountain of joy. Awesome ! Happy Day #39

The Peacock and the Mesh

What's there to be jubilant, if you spot a dancing peacock with wings spread in all its royal grandeur? 
Agree, it's rare as the creature knows we are dying to see the Royal plumage and they just won't budge. Hence, to capture the national bird in its regal splendour that too by the amateur photographer, IS laudable.
Especially, as I accidentally shot the bird through the iron mesh by blurring the thick meshed wires completely! 
Chole Goyché!        
                                                                         Happy Day #38

Leisure

The image is slightly blurred as the camera is in the hands of my too energetic son ,hence is constantly shaking.Still I liked it as first, it caught me unawares and second ,it indeed is a Happy day.Kids in pool, hubby in tennis court and I with a leisure with Mother Nature, peace,ginger-cardamom tea and books -a perfect afternoon ! Happy Day #37

Under The Chikoo Tree

Anindy like most of the boys is just vaguely interested in nature.He does like the calm and restive environment and is a great fan of Enid Blyton mostly because the settings of her stories are in sunny fields, neat green pastures and calm blue skies.Still, once in such environment for more than an hour, he becomes restless and quite understandably craves for adventure!In this image I happened to catch that languid mood of his though he was totally besotted by the fact that he is actually holding a Chikoo tree ripe with fruits! Another first of his life.  

 A Happy Day #36

Librarian in Stitches !

I don't remember from which site I got this image saved in my computer hard disk but it is there from weeks I am unable to part myself from it AND I am not a Librarian.  It is the infatuation with books which made me envious of Librarians.Be it that mystic aura of  books stacked in rows after rows,the long gleaming tables,the filtering sunlight lighting up the awe inspiring floor patterns in a plush up-city library or the four roomed shack with books piled up high up to the ceiling and dust particles dancing in the incoming sunlight and colourful mats and rugs for seating ....they all have their own charm and aura. This design whoever had done it is -marvellous! Needle and books. Embroidery and words. A cerebro-lethal combination and surely a happy one. A happy day. #35

Sorting Out Sid : Review

Book : Sorting Out Sid
Author : Yashodhara Lal
Genre` : Modern Fiction Published : Harper Collins Best Buy : Here
When author Yashodhara Lal started the 'Sorting Out Sid - Blogger and Beer contest 'asking why are we interested in 'Sorting Out Sid' I answered honestly 'because Sid's world is stark opposite from mine's and I want to experience up-close and personal how he gets sorted out.' I received a copy of the book! with a red tiny Bean Bag (Brownie is for Sid) and a promise to sign the book at some later opportunity :) SYNOPSIS Siddharth aka Sid is a cool guy, with a ten years old marriage, loving friends, a promise of soon to be the 'youngest VP' of the company and much more .. Still his life lacks the zest ...why? Failing childless marriage, great unfulfilled expectations of parents,too interfering friends, obnoxious boss and manipulative colleagues.... then enters a single mom, revival of lost hobbies,a share in  responsibilities ......
Will he be …

The Girl with the Conch

I accidentally stumbled on this image while following one link after another and was dumbstruck.Its one of those images which I used to see everywhere in my childhood,with which I grew up. At that time in the 90's it was very popular on greeting cards, posters, as gilt edged paintings and photo-frames.One of my friend used to have a letter pad with this baby girl on it.All pale and dim, in the background.My friend never wrote a single letter on that sheet! That much was the frenzy regarding this image.At least in our group.After so many years,like many other things, it too had slipped from my mind but when I saw it, memories came flooding back.As if this was the only piece missing from my existence!  But yes, it does mean a lot to me. this little girl with her pale hair swaying in the wind conspicuous in her red sweater (The sweater I had seen as a brown version also) playing in water ........... the ripples in the water suggesting vastness... and the conch shell suggesting a beach.P…

The Little Reader

Few images have this ascendancy over me as this one .Though a simple one it is poignant and it speaks volumes to me ....about childhood, its dreams and aspirations, imagination and the insatiable quench for knowledge...the love for reading, the immersion and absorption in the task,the detachment towards the surroundings adding more to the charm , the beautiful pink glow on child's fair, unblemished countenance may be, due to the joy of reading a book and that peculiar expression stuck in the involuntary parting of her lips!  Sitting in a place which seems like kitchen area to me with a cupboard and pots in the far dim corner and the innovatively designed  round table (most peculiar!) with bolts to turn the half side down and vice versa !! Engrossed and Blissful she is. And to see her IS happiness to me.  A Happy day. #33

The Beauty in White

I was not enthusiastic about going to a Home Decor`Fair but, on my partner's insistence I agreed and the moment I  entered ....I knew I was going to be happy! The place was stuffed with many beautiful artifacts.Furniture pieces and decor items were placed under bright and dim lights as necessary.Small pieces are placed strategically to ensure they catch the eye. But I was more caught up in the Sang-e-Marmar OR The marble section. I specially liked this beautifully carved Marble Lantern embellished with stones glued into an intricate lattice work in the traditional red ,green and golden.Plus its electric and don't forget to appreciate the black marble table top on which it is placed.The flower motifs with that Rajasthan Blue!
Happy Day .# 32

Buttertea at Sunrise : Britta Das

'Buttertea at Sunrise'
Author  :   Britta Das
Genre` :   Travel Memoir
Published : Summersdale
Year             :  2006
My Ratings :  7.5/10

I read this book almost three years back and have mentioned it here and there as a passing reference in my other posts. Iam glad that today the muhurtam for its review has come as its one of my dear ones.

 The Blurb 
"Often seen as a magical paradise at the end of the world, Bhutan is inaccessible to most travellers. Set against the dramatic scenery of the Himalaya, this beautiful memoir reveals hardships and happiness in a land almost untouched by the West. When Britta, a young physiotherapist, goes to work in a remote village hospital, her good intentions are put to the test amid monsoons, fleas and shocking conditions. But as she visits homes in the mountains and learns the mysteries of tantric Buddhism, the country casts its enduring spell. Gaining insights into the traditions of this mystical kingdom, she makes friends and falls in love…

The Jade lanterns

We spotted this amazing bunch of leaves hanging from the iron mesh roof of the famous Lalbagh Botanical Gardens. Lalbagh is full of such surprises.Many such beauties emerge from unexpected nooks and corners and mesmerize you, gladdening your heart .
This particular creation I saw for the first time and considering there was no name plate to indicate its botanical name ,I guess it must be pretty common out here in Bangalore woods.I am ashamed as I don't have the slightest cue what it is except its not a flower!! But its BEeeeeutiful .... and there were hordes and hordes of such green lanterns hanging.The meshed roof was completely covered by the crisscross branches of Bougainvillea and other flowering shrubs cum climbers and from that web of colour these beauties were hanging down... Like the jade lanterns swaying in welcome for a Chinese emperor.....    A Happy Day #31

Jiyo jiyo jiyo mere Baingan Raja! -- "Condition serious hai"

Saira is upset.She had got a nasty fracture in her right leg and is bedridden for weeks perhaps months !! "Aww... " she moaned inwardly. "What the fish! To get your leg broken prior to the college trip! What's worse luck than this for a 16 year old?" She sighed.

And ALL her friends were going, except she.. lying like a rag doll in this hospital with bald docs and busy nurses buzzing here and there like Busy-Bumble-Bees.
Specially nurse Capsicum. Saira didn't know her name but the body sahpe with a greenish ghoulish look of her skin made her think of her as a capsicum !
 "Nurse capsicum needs some beetroot juice to get some colour "she guffawed inwardly.
Bedridden state has spurred her creative juices, she thought!

Suddenly the door opened and nurse Capsicum entered with another nurse Nithya ."My God!" wondered Saira, "Another vegetable?" The new nurse looked like a shrivelled Lady finger, reed thin, gaunt, complete with a triang…

The Growing up

"Mom, Mom, come fast.... " There was urgency in Anindy's voice but it definitely and thankfully lacked the panicked under notes,so its not a bruise or a breakage of home items OR Anindy himself .... it ought to be something urgent in a non dangerous way.While running from kitchen towards him in the outer foyer, all this information my mind analysed in the 100th part of the teeny second.It had told me to be relaxed and calm.
It was right.
The summon was for an incident he saw... that a pigeon sat on an empty nest and then flap her way to the adjacent beam and miraculously, two eggs appear there! Magical!! He was excited as he feels he 'saw' her laying eggs ! Pihu, his younger sister,is cool... as if she had midwifed in many egg- laying.

She wisely commented "Ais ehi hota hai.. Muumy hi baby ko paida karti hai..Papa khana late hai " (Its common, the mother gives birth to babies and the father had to bring food for them).I decided to keep mum till they ask.Bo…

The View

Its rare that I get enamoured by materialistic things but this image upon which I stumbled through Internet, simply denies to fade away from my mind.I am so into it that I have thought about all the reconstruction my house,in Bangalore or in my native has to undergo in order to get this place.The only thing which was able to put constraint on my craziness is - no matter if I'll  attain this tiny reading place with books stacked in its drawers, but no way on earth can I get the outside view....sigh.

God lies in being free from material bonding and infatuations.... Hm... I take a deep breath ....inhale...exhale....inhale...exhale... Yes,I am a free bird!
Happy Day . ;) #29

Lalbagh

I with my Mum and both the kids went for Lalbagh.Lush greenery, calm and freedom always welcomes us as expected.Kids have brought their sketching books, a version of beach ball and water bottles.I was heaped with mats and fluff blankets for Mum (it gets cold there under the thick canopy of trees)The picnic went nicely.
On returning,at my leisure in night when I was checking the pics, I found this image of Pihu clicked and then edited by her dada.I was touched as I know how hard it is to cajole the STUBBORN  Pihu to pose for a snap. She is too lazy to turn the head and move her lips in a smile and here she is with tilted head,a genuine smile and is even holding the edge of her swaying skirt ! The simple image now held a deeper meaning to me ... comforting me of their natural bonding.It was a hectic n fulfilling day. Now its a Happy Day! #28